WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- NBA is looking at the possibility of continuing the halted season in one place with no fans amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- Several arrangements are on the table, but the key consideration is to prevent fans from watching live games in the location.
- The English Premier League is also considering plans for its season continuation amidst the crisis.
As of today, the NBA season is still on a halt until further notice, but there is still a question on how the league will continue this year, and if so, under what conditions can the players be back?
Mark Berman of the New York Post says some NBA officials had an idea about the situation — a coronavirus endgame, 30 teams, under one roof, and without fans.
According to the Post, while the COVID-19 outbreak may have been unfavorable to the league, some NBA executives are open to the possibility of organizing the remainder of the season and held one location.
The arrangement, per various NBA sources, is a 16-team playoff with a five-to-seven-game regular-season run-up.
One source from the league commented that the NBA wanted to have a champion in the suspended season.
As a last resort, a reduced playoff system such as best-of-three series across the league and a single-elimination method is possible.
Meanwhile, the possible location that league executives are looking at is the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, which, in the past, has played summer leagues. The city is also ideal for its large hotel accommodations.
Berman also remarked that Atlantic City, Bahamas, Hawaii, Orlando, and Louisville are also potential locations for the playoffs.
Jay Williams of ESPN, on Monday, had another idea in mind — holding the games on cruise ships.
Another concern being looked out by the NBA is the 70 regular-season games that apparently had been arranged under a contract with regional broadcast networks. Prior to the suspension, all teams had already played around 60 games on average.
According to several reports, another ideal scenario is opening the season by late June and moving the start of the next season, 2020-21, until Christmas, and it also means that the draft would be deferred.
Another sports association, the English Premier League, had also talked about game plans during the coronavirus outbreak.
In their arrangement, players and major staff members would be isolated in different hotels while waiting for their games. However, no matter how careful the planning would be, disadvantages are also foreseen.
One single incident of coronavirus infection would break the whole arrangement. There are also concerns about what to do with players who may suffer injuries during these games. Hospitals are still overwhelmed, and it could be in the same situation upon resumption of the NBA.
Considering the situation, though, the least bad case scenario, since teams want to play games and fans want to watch how the season turns out, is by barring the latter from the venue.